Do I need glasses?
If you’ve asked yourself that question, then an eye test may be in order. Here are some of the indicators that your eyesight may be changing.
Signs you need an eye test:
Things are blurry – if you’ve previously been able to read a magazine without holding it at arm’s length, or can’t read the road signs like you used to, then it could be that you are becoming long-sighted, or short-sighted.
Seeing at dusk, or at night – are you finding that it takes a while for your eyes to adjust as it gets darker, or that your night vision isn’t as good as it was? Age can cause a decline in your eyes’ ability to adjust, or it could be a sign of cataracts. In either case, a check-up with us will determine the best course of action.
Headaches, strain or fatigue – eye strain, frowning and squinting as you try to focus to see things properly are all signs that your eyes are working harder than they should be to help you see. Correcting your vision can help to alleviate all of these symptoms.
Seeing things that you shouldn’t be seeing – if you are experiencing double-vision or halos, or if things look distorted or faded then you may be experiencing symptoms of cataracts, or macular degeneration. In which case, a visit to us sooner rather than later is important.
How does an eye test work?
In an eye test, we check for a range of things. Firstly we’ll take a bit of a medical history, and a history of your eye health. Then we’ll run some tests. Obviously we’re looking at how well you can see, but we’re also checking things such as peripheral vision, how you distinguish colours, the structure of your eye and whether you are showing any signs of conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal disorders or macular degeneration.
We are lucky to be one of the few optometrists in Queensland to have an Optos machine. This machine gives us an extremely detailed view of your retina, where we can take an image showing 82% of your eye (compared to the usual 45%). We may even spot disease in your eyes before you display any symptoms. Ask us about including an Optos test in your next consultation.*
Short vs Long-sighted
We often get asked what the difference is between being short-sighted and long-sighted. Short-sightedness, or myopia, is when you can see things close to you better than you can see things that are further away. The most obvious symptom is that you can’t see things that are further away, but you may also find that you are squinting in order to see.
Long-sightedness, or hyperopia, is the opposite – you can see things that are further away better than you can see things near to you. Again, the most obvious symptom is that you notice trouble reading things up close, compared to at a distance. But you might also find you have eye “strain”, where you may experience headaches and tired and aching eyes.
I’ve never had glasses before. How do I choose?
There are actually quite a few things to consider when choosing frames for your glasses. Importantly, the frame needs to be suitable for your prescription, such as being lightweight or flexible. This is something our specialists will advise you on when you come for your visit.
Once we’ve determined that, we’ll be able to show you around our extensive range. We’ve got something for everyone, so to help you narrow it down, we’ll ask you things about your personality and style, and your lifestyle. Perhaps you’ll take your glasses on and off regularly so ones with spring hinges might suit, or you might want something nice and light if you are wearing them all the time.
We’ll then also make sure you have the right lenses – flat, light, thin, photosensitive, progressive, anti-reflective…phew! There’s lots to consider, but don’t worry, we’re experts in this area and love matching you with your perfect glasses.
What about contact lenses and sunglasses?
Contact lens technology has evolved a lot, so even if you were once told you were unsuitable for contact lenses that may no longer be the case. As with frames, there are a few things to consider. We’re here to advise you, but some of the options are daily, fortnightly or monthly disposables, multifocal or toric lenses (for astigmatism). Contact lenses are great for activities such as sport.
We can also help you with sunglasses, to protect your eyes from UV damage. We’ve got a great range of quality sunglasses, and we can sort out prescription sunglasses too.
What do I do next?
The first step is to make an appointment, so we can test your eyes. We highly recommend adding in an Optos test too, for the most comprehensive picture of your eye health. Depending on your level of private health cover, you may be able to claim back some of the cost off your frames/lenses. Remember, that private health insurance resets each year, so if you don’t use your benefits, you’ll lose them.
*Optos tests are available at an additional cost of $49.